In just two days online, a petition to allow Arizona to secede from the Union has drawn more than 7,000 signatures.
"Nicholas M." in Gilbert started the petition at http://petitions.whitehouse.gov, where anyone may do the same to support any cause they wish to support. Petitions on the site which receive 25,000 signatures will be reviewed, forwarded to the appropriate policy experts and then receive an official White House response.
Petitions have been filed on behalf of 20 other states, many of which are deeply conservative, and a couple of surprising states that would normally be deemed progressive: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
The petition reads in part:
"We petition the Obama administration to:
Peacefully grant the State of Arizona to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
The citizens of the great state of Arizona have the right to stand for their principles. That man is granted unalienable rights, which are not the dispensations of the government, but find their beginnings in God and come from God alone. These are the principles that our forefathers stood for, the principles upon, which our Constitution is based, and those in which we firmly place our belief and resolve."
It is rare for consumer-generated petitions on the site to reach the 25,000 signatures which move them to the next step in the process. Petitions which fail to reach that threshold in a given amount of time are deleted from the site.
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